Family and friends gathered in the yard of Lee and Michele Bedingfield on Friday morning, ready to retrieve what they could from the charred remains of the River Pointe Drive house.
The Bedingfield’s home for the last 10 years caught fire at about 2:30 a.m. Friday and was a total loss.
“The smoke alarms worked and thankfully, everyone got out,” said Lee Bedingfield. “The house is toast.”
The couple has three children and Michele is director of Harmony House, the local domestic violence shelter.
Troup County firefighters said the fire was called in at 2:49 a.m. and flames were venting through the roof when they arrived. The loss was listed at $180,000, but the cause still was undetermined.
Lee Bedingfield said the family is waiting to hear from the county fire marshal to determine the cause.
“It could have been the chimney or it could have been electrical. We just don’t know,” he said.
Efforts already had been mobilized early Friday to take up a collection of cash, gift cards and other items for the family, who lost everything. Long Cane Middle School, where the children attend, is accepting donations, as is LaGrange College, the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and Whimzey and Elliebelle’s, both downtown.
Those wishing to donate may call Carla White at 706-773-0018.
Lee Bedingfield said friends and family already have been generous and the family already has a place to stay while they rebuild their house. He and others donned gloves and carried plastic totes into the house late Friday morning, looking for what they could save. A television had been moved to the driveway.
“We’re just looking for wedding rings. Anything we can save,” he said.